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Which hospitals are in our safety Ratings (and which aren't)

Consumer Reports News: July 06, 2012 01:08 PM

We have for the first time rated 1,159 U.S. hospitals for safety, providing a unique way to compare hospitals in your community. Still, our safety Ratings include just 18 percent of all the hospitals in the U.S. Why are so many excluded? Mostly because data on patient harm are still not reported fully or consistently nationwide.

"Hospitals that volunteer safety information, regardless of their score, deserve credit, since the first step in safety is accountability," says John Santa, M.D., director of the Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center. "But the fact that consumers can't get a full picture of most hospitals in the U.S. underscores the need for more public reporting."

Not included in our Ratings are these hospitals:

  • Veterans Affairs and children's hospitals because the government doesn't require them to participate in a survey of patients that we use to determine ratings for communication.

  • Some specialty hospitals because they don't treat patients with conditions used in our readmissions rating. That includes such hospitals as the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York and the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

  • Hospitals that don't have enough data, have data we consider too old, have data discrepancies, or don't report their data in a way we can use. That includes many hospitals, including some familiar ones, such as Duke University Hospital in Durham, N.C.; Emory University Hospital in Atlanta; Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit; Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore; the University of Chicago Medical Center; and the University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora.

While those hospitals aren't included in our safety Ratings, we do have some performance data for many of them. In fact, in total we have some Ratings information for 4,984 U.S. hospitals. For details, see our full hospital Ratings. And read our new report How Safe Is Your Hospital?

Joel Keehn

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